Recently, I was asked to speak to a Foundations of Education class at Metro State on the current climate of public education, so that the students could gain a facet of perspective on the reality they are approaching as they prepare for their practicum within their respective program(s). We discussed the pros and cons of the various national, state, and local viewpoints on all areas of education reform (theory vs. reality) and the fight for a comprehensive education that teaches the whole child (speaking as a music teacher), and the drain I observe on my colleagues, and the toll it is taking on our students. Before I completely had them running and screaming from the profession before they started, I led into the great things I see my colleagues do for their students and the passion they encompass and why I would not choose another way to spend my time. Eventually, one the students asked the question “So, why are you in the Union?”
I was reminded of my “foundations” course in my teacher prep program where the professor made the statement “always be a member of your professional organization.” That has resonated with me as I entered the profession and continues to this day. My membership in music education organizations have come and gone, but my membership in DCTA has always been my priority. I have been more involved every year since I started in Denver, from all of my experience as a building rep, board member, and bargaining team member. The more I become involved, the more I am informed, the more I want to help my colleagues impact change and to continue the momentum of solidifying DCTA as our professional guild that promotes nothing but the highest in educator excellence and shared accountability, so that our children will be successful.
As your Treasurer, I will continue to work for you so that your voice is heard at all levels of our organization so that we can continue to prosper as an organization that increases the value of our profession in our society through strength in membership and solidarity.